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Laying Down sod

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Superiorlandscaping, May 11, 2003.

  1. Superiorlandscaping

    Superiorlandscaping LawnSite Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 62

    I have a huge commercial contract with a company worth about 40,000 for just the spring cleanup and a weekly mow blow and edge. Anyways the company wants the property to look astounding. Well the plows absolutely the edge of the grass. The want grass there immediately so I told them I would ******* lay down some sod. Problem is, I have never laid sod before. I always seeded but time has come for me to learn.

    I figure, I edge it up remove the dirt and stuff and lay down some loam and put the sod down. Buuut, I just want to make sure thats how its down. Anyways, What exactly do you do to prep it, install and maintain it. Are there any patterns i have to follow. They do have a sprinkler system. Thank you very much. Also it is supposed to rain mon - wed. Should I do it while its raining to get it wet. Anyways ill see what you have to say . Thank you.


    That word is not allowed here. We've all heard it before, don't need to hear it here too....Jodi
  2. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    you better call a pro who specializes in this area. also i the use of the F word will get you banned on website..
  3. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    I have a question about laying sod, for all you sod layers. I do very little of it. When laying sod on a hill, I have seen guys lay it up and down, but I read in Turf, to lay it across. Can someone please tell me why to lay it across and not up and down?
  4. strickdad

    strickdad LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 544

    when laying it on a hill we stagger the seams (like laying block) from side to side. also we "pin" it in useing a lightweight aluminum tent stake that has a hook on top... works vey well..
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Dude, first rule of doing business - don't take on any job unless you feel absolutely comfortable that you know how to do that job.

    I've never taken on a job without feeling confident that I couldn't do it - and do it the right way. If you want to learn, subcontract the job out to someone who DOES know how to do this work and watch them work. THEN, you'll know how to do it next time. That's how you learn in this business. Just make sure you learn from someone who really does stuff the right way though. Because you can end up learning some really bad habits.

    I could write a ton about how to prep. for and install sod the correct way but I think the better advice is what I've already written. Think about this next time you have the opportunity to bid a job for which you're not qualified. Especially one THIS big!
  6. Superiorlandscaping

    Superiorlandscaping LawnSite Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 62

    First rule of thumb. I am in this business to make money. ALright, I NEVER EVER say I cant do something even if i know its absolutely unfeasible. I will sub some work out occassionaly but work with the subs so I can learn. If you constantly give potential work away you will limit the amount of money you make. SO I SAY LEARN HOW TO DO IT RIGHT THEN DO IT. I came to ask for help and your help was to have someone else do it. REDICULOUS. I wonder if thats how you do you business. OH can you clean my gutter out. No maam, Ill have to sub that one out.

    3) DO IT!



    Maybe someone will actually be willing to help.
  7. rkk95

    rkk95 LawnSite Member
    from west PA
    Messages: 165

    The best thing that I could tell you is prepare the soil as if you are going to seed, put down a complete fertilizer something like 19-19-19 moisten soil a little but not so much it leaves marks when you walk on it. Lay the sod like you would lay block, stagger the seems. Start with the longest straight run and go from there. Be sure to water the new sod within the same day that you install it. near my shop a contractor just installed about 3 acres of bluegrass sod with sprinkler system and never watered. it is finally starting to get a little green after 2 weeks of cool temps and rain. Be sure to keep the soil down about a half inch along sidewalks and driveways so that it will match up nice.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    All right. Well do things your way then. What do I know anyway? 7 years ago I didn't even know how to mow a lawn properly and I had never used an edger or blower in my life. Today, I run one of the most reputable companies in my area company with 8 employees and I know how to do almost any kind of landscaping job there is. We do almost $400K per year. And much of what I have learned came from studying, taking classes, or sub-contracting out and watching and learning. It's the professional way to handle situations like this.

    My point wasn't to deny you the opportunity to learn. Anyone on this forum knows I go out of my way to help people whenever I can. I could write a good 20 paragraphs about the proper way to install sod if I felt like it. But I saw a bigger issue that needed to be addressed - the fact that you're taking on jobs you obviously have no clue how to handle. That's just bad business pure and simple. And before I answer the question you want me to answer, this bigger problem had to be addressed.

    Ask yourself this; if the people who hired you knew that you had never installed sod before and didn't really have a clue as to how to do it the right way, do you think they'd have still hired you? Would YOU want someone to do that to YOU (represent themselves as knowing how to do something they had no clue about?) I know I definitely wouldn't want someone to do that to me. ESPECIALLY if I was spending $40K!!! And I always try to operate with the Golden Rule in mind. If I wouldn't want someone to do that to me, than I sure as heck am not going to do that to them.

    That you don't recognize this ethical principal is telling of your character.
  9. Turf Dancer

    Turf Dancer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    I am with Jim on this one ! A little knowledge goes a long way ! Get the knowledge before you take on the job ! I can't see anyone taking on a job they have no clue about and then calling themselves a professional. Being a Professional is about knowing about your business and the services you provide. See here in the state of Oregon to Install Landscaping you must qualify to take the Landscape test and then you must pass the Tests ! There are 5 of them you must take in order to get your landscape license here. If your state had a Landscape test that required any knowledge about landscaping then you would already know about how to lay sod ! Posts like this one make me understand more and more all the time why it is getting harder to get a license to do anything in this state as well as several others. I think it is to protect the public from incompetent contractors. A while back I was talking to Jim about our rules for testing for a Landscape License I am in the process of testing for my License here in Oregon. There are 5 of them you must pass to get your all Phase License here. I guess some states give Landscape Licenses out in Cracker Jack Boxes. Best Advice to you would be to buy a good book on Lawns. It will help you on the sod subject it will also give you a few tips on how to mow a lawn ! Good Luck !
  10. Just Turned Pro

    Just Turned Pro LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109


    What if you took your 1 Ton work truck in for new brakes... the guy in the shop tells you, sure, I'll set you up with new brakes all around, just give me a few days. Later that night you log on to truckrepairmansite.com and see a post from your repair guy like this... "I have never done this before but I need to put new brakes on a customer's truck. It is a good service sale, so I don't want to lose it, but I need you to tell me how to do it." Sounds kinda silly right?

    I'll have to agree with the others, if you don't know how to do it, don't bid on it.

    If you need to practice and learn, thats what books, school, apprenticeships, and friends yards are for.

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